Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Stroke recovery is orchestrated by a set of highly interactive processes that involve the neurovascular unit and neural stem cells. Emerging data suggest that exosomes play an important role in intercellular communication by transferring exosomal protein and RNA cargo between source and target cells in the brain. Here, we review these advances and their impact on promoting coupled brain remodeling processes after stroke. The use of exosomes for therapeutic applications in stroke is also highlighted.
Zheng Gang Zhang, Michael Chopp
Extracellular vesicles (EVs, including exosomes) are implicated in many aspects of nervous system development and function, including regulation of synaptic communication, synaptic strength, and nerve regeneration. They mediate the transfer of packets of information in the form of nonsecreted proteins and DNA/RNA protected within a membrane compartment. EVs are essential for the packaging and transport of many cell-fate proteins during development as well as many neurotoxic misfolded proteins during pathogenesis. This form of communication provides another dimension of cellular crosstalk, with the ability to assemble a “kit” of directional instructions made up of different molecular entities and address it to specific recipient cells. This multidimensional form of communication has special significance in the nervous system. How EVs help to orchestrate the wiring of the brain while allowing for plasticity associated with learning and memory and contribute to regeneration and degeneration are all under investigation. Because they carry specific disease-related RNAs and proteins, practical applications of EVs include potential uses as biomarkers and therapeutics. This Review describes our current understanding of EVs and serves as a springboard for future advances, which may reveal new important mechanisms by which EVs in coordinate brain and body function and dysfunction.
Valentina Zappulli, Kristina Pagh Friis, Zachary Fitzpatrick, Casey A. Maguire, Xandra O. Breakefield
Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40–150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathways in cells they fuse or interact with. Exosomes are detected in the tumor microenvironment, and emerging evidence suggests that they play a role in facilitating tumorigenesis by regulating angiogenesis, immunity, and metastasis. Circulating exosomes can be used as liquid biopsies and noninvasive biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer patients.
DC-derived exosomes (Dex) are nanometer-sized membrane vesicles that are secreted by the sentinel antigen-presenting cells of the immune system: DCs. Like DCs, the molecular composition of Dex includes surface expression of functional MHC-peptide complexes, costimulatory molecules, and other components that interact with immune cells. Dex have the potential to facilitate immune cell–dependent tumor rejection and have distinct advantages over cell-based immunotherapies involving DCs. Accordingly, Dex-based phase I and II clinical trials have been conducted in advanced malignancies, showing the feasibility and safety of the approach, as well as the propensity of these nanovesicles to mediate T and NK cell–based immune responses in patients. This Review will evaluate the interactions of Dex with immune cells, their clinical progress, and the future of Dex immunotherapy for cancer.
Jonathan M. Pitt, Fabrice André, Sebastian Amigorena, Jean-Charles Soria, Alexander Eggermont, Guido Kroemer, Laurence Zitvogel
Intercellular signaling via extracellular vesicles (EVs) is an underappreciated modality of cell-cell crosstalk that enables cells to convey packages of complex instructions to specific recipient cells. EVs transmit these instructions through their cargoes of multiple proteins, nucleic acids, and specialized lipids, which are derived from their cells of origin and allow for combinatorial effects upon recipient cells. This Review series brings together the recent progress in our understanding of EV signaling in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, highlighting how certain EVs, particularly exosomes, can promote or regulate infections, host immune responses, development, and various diseases — notably cancer. Given the diverse nature of EVs and their abilities to profoundly modulate host cells, this series puts particular emphasis on the clinical applications of EVs as therapeutics and as diagnostic biomarkers.
Jonathan M. Pitt, Guido Kroemer, Laurence Zitvogel
Numerous studies have shown that non-cell-autonomous regulation of cancer cells is an important aspect of tumorigenesis. Cancer cells need to communicate with stromal cells by humoral factors such as VEGF, FGFs, and Wnt in order to survive. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have also been shown to be involved in cell-cell communication between cancer cells and the surrounding microenvironment and to be important for the development of cancer. In addition, these EVs contain small noncoding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), which contribute to the malignancy of cancer cells. Here, we provide an overview of current research on EVs, especially miRNAs in EVs. We also propose strategies to treat cancers by targeting EVs around cancer cells.
Nobuyoshi Kosaka, Yusuke Yoshioka, Yu Fujita, Takahiro Ochiya
The need to optimize vaccine potency while minimizing toxicity in healthy recipients has motivated studies of the formulation of vaccines to control how, when, and where antigens and adjuvants encounter immune cells and other cells/tissues following administration. An effective subunit vaccine must traffic to lymph nodes (LNs), activate both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and persist for a sufficient time to promote a mature immune response. Here, we review approaches to tailor these three aspects of vaccine function through optimized formulations. Traditional vaccine adjuvants activate innate immune cells, promote cell-mediated transport of antigen to lymphoid tissues, and promote antigen retention in LNs. Recent studies using nanoparticles and other lymphatic-targeting strategies suggest that direct targeting of antigens and adjuvant compounds to LNs can also enhance vaccine potency without sacrificing safety. The use of formulations to regulate biodistribution and promote antigen and inflammatory cue co-uptake in immune cells may be important for next-generation molecular adjuvants. Finally, strategies to program vaccine kinetics through novel formulation and delivery strategies provide another means to enhance immune responses independent of the choice of adjuvant. These technologies offer the prospect of enhanced efficacy while maintaining high safety profiles necessary for successful vaccines.
Tyson J. Moyer, Andrew C. Zmolek, Darrell J. Irvine
Mitochondria are a distinguishing feature of eukaryotic cells. Best known for their critical function in energy production via oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), mitochondria are essential for nutrient and oxygen sensing and for the regulation of critical cellular processes, including cell death and inflammation. Such diverse functional roles for organelles that were once thought to be simple may be attributed to their distinct heteroplasmic genome, exclusive maternal lineage of inheritance, and ability to generate signals to communicate with other cellular organelles. Mitochondria are now thought of as one of the cell’s most sophisticated and dynamic responsive sensing systems. Specific signatures of mitochondrial dysfunction that are associated with disease pathogenesis and/or progression are becoming increasingly important. In particular, the centrality of mitochondria in the pathological processes and clinical phenotypes associated with a range of lung diseases is emerging. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the mitochondrial processes of lung cells will help to better define phenotypes and clinical manifestations associated with respiratory disease and to identify potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
Suzanne M. Cloonan, Augustine M.K. Choi
Endothelial cells transduce the frictional force from blood flow (fluid shear stress) into biochemical signals that regulate gene expression and cell behavior via specialized mechanisms and pathways. These pathways shape the vascular system during development and during postnatal and adult life to optimize flow to tissues. The same pathways also contribute to atherosclerosis and vascular malformations. This Review covers recent advances in basic mechanisms of flow signaling and the involvement of these mechanisms in vascular physiology, remodeling, and these diseases. We propose that flow sensing pathways that govern normal morphogenesis can contribute to disease under pathological conditions or can be altered to induce disease. Viewing atherosclerosis and vascular malformations as instances of pathological morphogenesis provides a unifying perspective that may aid in developing new therapies.
Nicolas Baeyens, Chirosree Bandyopadhyay, Brian G. Coon, Sanguk Yun, Martin A. Schwartz
Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are harbingers of tumor-induced immune suppression: they carry immunosuppressive molecules and factors known to interfere with immune cell functions. By delivering suppressive cargos consisting of proteins similar to those in parent tumor cells to immune cells, TEX directly or indirectly influence the development, maturation, and antitumor activities of immune cells. TEX also deliver genomic DNA, mRNA, and microRNAs to immune cells, thereby reprogramming functions of responder cells to promote tumor progression. TEX carrying tumor-associated antigens can interfere with antitumor immunotherapies. TEX also have the potential to serve as noninvasive biomarkers of tumor progression. In the tumor microenvironment, TEX may be involved in operating numerous signaling pathways responsible for the downregulation of antitumor immunity.
Theresa L. Whiteside
HIV persistence in patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy is a major impediment to the cure of HIV/AIDS. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying HIV persistence in vivo have not been fully elucidated. This lack of basic knowledge has hindered progress in this area. The in vivo analysis of HIV persistence and the implementation of curative strategies would benefit from animal models that accurately recapitulate key aspects of the human condition. This Review summarizes the contribution that humanized mouse models of HIV infection have made to the field of HIV cure research. Even though these models have been shown to be highly informative in many specific areas, their great potential to serve as excellent platforms for discovery in HIV pathogenesis and treatment has yet to be fully developed.
J. Victor Garcia
A substantial research effort has been directed to identifying strategies to eradicate or control HIV infection without a requirement for combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). A number of obstacles prevent HIV eradication, including low-level viral persistence during cART, long-term persistence of HIV-infected cells, and latent infection of resting CD4+ T cells. Mechanisms of persistence remain uncertain, but integration of the provirus into the host genome represents a central event in replication and pathogenesis of all retroviruses, including HIV. Analysis of HIV proviruses in CD4+ lymphocytes from individuals after prolonged cART revealed that a substantial proportion of the infected cells that persist have undergone clonal expansion and frequently have proviruses integrated in genes associated with regulation of cell growth. These data suggest that integration may influence persistence and clonal expansion of HIV-infected cells after cART is introduced, and these processes may represent key mechanisms for HIV persistence. Determining the diversity of host genes with integrants in HIV-infected cells that persist for prolonged periods may yield useful information regarding pathways by which infected cells persist for prolonged periods. Moreover, many integrants are defective, and new studies are required to characterize the role of clonal expansion in the persistence of replication-competent HIV.
Current efforts toward achieving a cure for HIV are focused on developing strategies to eliminate latently infected CD4+ T cells, which represent the major barrier to virus eradication. Sensitive, precise, and practical assays that can reliably characterize and measure this HIV reservoir and can reliably measure the impact of a candidate treatment strategy are essential. PCR-based procedures for detecting integrated HIV DNA will overestimate the size of the reservoir by detecting replication-incompetent proviruses; however, viral outgrowth assays underestimate the size of the reservoir. Here, we describe the attributes and limitations of current procedures for measuring the HIV reservoir. Characterizing their relative merits will require rigorous evaluation of their performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, etc.) and their relationship to the results of clinical studies.
Marta Massanella, Douglas D. Richman
Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) can suppress plasma HIV to undetectable levels, allowing HIV-infected individuals who are treated early a nearly normal life span. Despite the clear ability of ART to prevent morbidity and mortality, it is not curative. Even in individuals who have full suppression of viral replication on ART, there are resting memory CD4+ T cells that harbor stably integrated HIV genomes, which are capable of producing infectious virus upon T cell activation. This latent viral reservoir is considered the primary obstacle to the development of an HIV cure, and recent efforts in multiple areas of HIV research have been brought to bear on the development of strategies to eradicate or develop a functional cure for HIV. Reviews in this series detail progress in our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of viral latency, efforts to accurately assess the size and composition of the latent reservoir, the characterization and development of HIV-targeted broadly neutralizing antibodies and cytolytic T lymphocytes, and animal models for the study HIV latency and therapeutic strategies.
Janet D. Siliciano, Robert F. Siliciano
Current antiretroviral drug therapies do not cure HIV-1 because they do not eliminate a pool of long-lived cells harboring immunologically silent but replication-competent proviruses — termed the latent reservoir. Eliminating this reservoir and stimulating the immune response to control infection in the absence of therapy remain important but unsolved goals of HIV-1 cure research. Recently discovered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) exhibit remarkable breadth and potency in their ability to neutralize HIV-1 in vitro, and recent studies have demonstrated new therapeutic applications for passively administered bNAbs in vivo. This Review discusses the roles bNAbs might play in HIV-1 treatment regimens, including prevention, therapy, and cure.
Ariel Halper-Stromberg, Michel C. Nussenzweig
The apparent cure of an HIV-infected person following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from an allogeneic donor homozygous for the
Daniel R. Kuritzkes
HIV seeds reservoirs of latent proviruses in the earliest phases of infection. These reservoirs are found in many sites, including circulating cells, the lymphoid system, the brain, and other tissues. The “shock and kill” strategy, where HIV transcription is reactivated so that antiretroviral therapy and the immune system clear the infection, has been proposed as one approach to curing AIDS. In addition to many defective viruses, resting hematopoietic cells harbor transcriptionally latent HIV. Understanding basic mechanisms of HIV gene expression provides a road map for this strategy, allowing for manipulation of critical cellular and viral transcription factors in such a way as to maximize HIV gene expression while avoiding global T cell activation. These transcription factors include NF-κB and the HIV transactivator of transcription (Tat) as well as the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK13 and CDK11 and positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb). Possible therapies involve agents that activate these proteins or release P-TEFb from the inactive 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP). These proposed therapies include PKC and MAPK agonists as well as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) and bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) bromodomain inhibitors (BETis), which act synergistically to reactivate HIV in latently infected cells.
Daniele C. Cary, Koh Fujinaga, B. Matija Peterlin
After the success of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) to treat HIV infection, the next great frontier is to cure infected persons, a formidable challenge. HIV persists in a quiescent state in resting CD4+ T cells, where the replicative enzymes targeted by cART are not active. Although low levels of HIV transcripts are detectable in these resting cells, little to no viral protein is produced, rendering this reservoir difficult to detect by the host CD8+ T cell response. However, recent advances suggest that this state of latency might be pharmacologically reversed, resulting in viral protein expression without the adverse effects of massive cellular activation. Emerging data suggest that with this approach, infected cells will not die of viral cytopathic effects, but might be eliminated if HIV-specific CD8+ T cells can be effectively harnessed. Here, we address the antiviral properties of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and how these cells might be harnessed to greater effect toward achieving viral eradication or a functional cure.
R. Brad Jones, Bruce D. Walker
Insulin resistance arises when the nutrient storage pathways evolved to maximize efficient energy utilization are exposed to chronic energy surplus. Ectopic lipid accumulation in liver and skeletal muscle triggers pathways that impair insulin signaling, leading to reduced muscle glucose uptake and decreased hepatic glycogen synthesis. Muscle insulin resistance, due to ectopic lipid, precedes liver insulin resistance and diverts ingested glucose to the liver, resulting in increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis and hyperlipidemia. Subsequent macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue (WAT) leads to increased lipolysis, which further increases hepatic triglyceride synthesis and hyperlipidemia due to increased fatty acid esterification. Macrophage-induced WAT lipolysis also stimulates hepatic gluconeogenesis, promoting fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia through increased fatty acid delivery to the liver, which results in increased hepatic acetyl-CoA content, a potent activator of pyruvate carboxylase, and increased glycerol conversion to glucose. These substrate-regulated processes are mostly independent of insulin signaling in the liver but are dependent on insulin signaling in WAT, which becomes defective with inflammation. Therapies that decrease ectopic lipid storage and diminish macrophage-induced WAT lipolysis will reverse the root causes of type 2 diabetes.
Varman T. Samuel, Gerald I. Shulman
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response induced by an infection, leading to organ dysfunction and mortality. Historically, sepsis-induced organ dysfunction and lethality were attributed to the interplay between inflammatory and antiinflammatory responses. With advances in intensive care management and goal-directed interventions, early sepsis mortality has diminished, only to surge later after “recovery” from acute events, prompting a search for sepsis-induced alterations in immune function. Sepsis is well known to alter innate and adaptive immune responses for sustained periods after clinical “recovery,” with immunosuppression being a prominent example of such alterations. Recent studies have centered on immune-modulatory therapy. These efforts are focused on defining and reversing the persistent immune cell dysfunction that is associated with mortality long after the acute events of sepsis have resolved.
Matthew J. Delano, Peter A. Ward
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